NW Areas Result - What happened? #Regs2016

fartycat

Member
Something that should be taken into consideration when commenting on contest organisation is the new rules Kapitol recently brought in. Our regional committee has asked each band secretary to read the following clause (23d) out to all our players:

upload_2016-2-29_23-6-17.png
 
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mikelyons

Supporting Member
In amongst the rest of what locals in my part of the world call "squit" there is one potentially valid point

Any other form of arbiter is subjected to quality control. Football referees, tennis umpires, judges - they are all monitored on an ad-Hoc basis to ensure that they are coming up with the correct decisions. Any repeated errors are dealt with through training or removal from approved lists.

Who, however adjudicates our adjudicators? An easy method would be to have a 3rd person sitting in the tent - so they get the same perspective - who can then ask the judges to justify why they've gone with a result if its potentially contentious.

Adjudicators would still have the ability to do their job, and providing they could justify it then the checker will "go with it". However it may possibly stamp out supposed favouritism.

The downsides are costs - who bears that? And also numbers. For example in a couple of weeks time there are 4 area contests going on simultaneously. Who will judge the judges?
How independent will they truly be?
Not forgetting the extra time needed for these challenges. It already takes a parlous long time for the results to be announced. any difference of opinion between the 3rd person and the other two would make that even longer - or maybe you would prefer results to be announced a week after the contest?
 
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Mesmerist

Well-Known Member
clause (23d)
I find this information disturbing, Farty Cat, and thank you for posting it. I believe one of your own players suffered a ban for sending a private text to an adjudicator. A local Midlands conductor was given a two year ban for his poor conduct after the contest results; and this also was extended to his band which subsequently folded as a direct result of the decision.
It doesn't seem right that the Appeal panel is made up from the very people the complaint is about.
How much right do they really have to inspect an individual comment on an online forum?
Are they going to demand the identity of posters from the forum host?
This seems to be highly controlling behaviour and I have my doubts on its legality in this country; free speech and all that. Before I would have just shrugged and said "that's banding" but now I think this is sinister.
 

Seffblatter

New Member
clause (23d)
I find this information disturbing, Farty Cat, and thank you for posting it. I believe one of your own players suffered a ban for sending a private text to an adjudicator. A local Midlands conductor was given a two year ban for his poor conduct after the contest results; and this also was extended to his band which subsequently folded as a direct result of the decision.
It doesn't seem right that the Appeal panel is made up from the very people the complaint is about.
How much right do they really have to inspect an individual comment on an online forum?
Are they going to demand the identity of posters from the forum host?
This seems to be highly controlling behaviour and I have my doubts on its legality in this country; free speech and all that. Before I would have just shrugged and said "that's banding" but now I think this is sinister.
I don't understand why people are so preoccupied with demanding people's identity on here. It's only ever to try and discredit their argument by making some comment about their experience or past performance etc. I think that at times it's important to respect peoples' wishes to be anonymous because all hell breaks loose if someone gives a smidgen of a clue about who they are when they're making any kind of so-called 'controversial' statements. It really does get personal and it's no longer about debating ideas it's about trying to knock someone down on a personal level. And yes the appeal panel being made up from people with a strong vested interest is definitely bad...

Many of you will have noticed before that I mentioned that I was affiliated with Wingates, after which I was immediately shot down due to this. It brings the focus on to you as a person rather than what you have to say. Notice how I didn't try and justify myself on this matter because quite frankly I don't care who people think I am or am not - I wanted to put my opinions out there. At the end of the day, people can believe what they like - if it makes them feel better to think that nobody in the band/committee would write this on here then that's fine!

EVERYONE'S opinion is as valid as anyone elses. To say that someone's opinion doesn't matter unless they've been studying a score for months (I'm referring to comments made to whitewitch) - is an elitist and personal statement to make. Her opinion may not carry as much weight in a professional environment which I think is what the poster was trying to get at but she does have a fully functioning set of ears and is a member of this forum which entitles her to make that post. That's obviously besides the fact that none of you know ANYTHING about her so I don't understand why you feel the need to be so presumptuous.

Rant over. (for now;))
 

Pauli Walnuts

Moderator
Staff member
Whilst duplicate accounts are not the norm on tMp, this user made it clear up front and also his/her reasons for doing so. In the interests of what could be an interesting thread, this was accepted. However, please do not abuse that permission by also posting under your other aliases. On this basis, I am planning to remove the 2 other anonymous accounts you have that I am currently aware of.
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
Banding =/= contesting.
Result you don't agree with =/= Bad decision.
4barsrest opinion =/= definitive verdict in any given situation.

I'm not convinced the current model of contesting is improvable while all the significant contests are privately owned and run. I think it's as good as it's going to get. If/when bands decide to agree on which way is up and work together (or the sun expands and consumes the inner solar system, whichever happens first) it might be possible to make some improvements, but I won't hold my breath. Worth noting that the biggest name championship bands now do the bare minimum of contesting, and I've noticed quite a few lower section bands taking a similar hard-headed approach. I know very few people who are actually that bothered any more. Nice to win, or qualify; if you don't you have a beer, move on and get on putting money in the bank with your next concert. Pretty sure that's what Faireys and Leyland will be doing this week.

Getting anything organised in brass banding is a major ball-ache. Getting anything changed is an even bigger one. It's a minor miracle that the 8 area contests happen at all, given the cost of doing it and the fact that it's all done by volunteers. If the standard of adjudicators is really such an issue (and as with anything else, there are most definitely good ones and bad ones) in the North West at least there's a quick fix for that - I imagine that anyone who emailed Peter Bates and offered to take his job off his hands next year would be his friend for life. Then you get to pick who's in the box. In at least five years of him asking from the stage in the Opera House no-one's taken him up on it, though, so clearly no-one's that fussed about it. Incidentally, so much for the years of argument that having two adjudicators in the North West was going to cut down on results complaints...

While I'm here, I'll give some adjudicating credit where it's due. I conducted in the second section on Sunday and we came 10th - Mike Kilroy and David Lancaster made it absolutely clear on their sheets why they'd made their choice, plenty of notes on what we'd done well and badly and what we needed to work on in order to improve. Really helpful, constructive comments.
 

Bbmad

Active Member
I don't understand why people are so preoccupied with demanding people's identity on here. It's only ever to try and discredit their argument by making some comment about their experience or past performance etc. I think that at times it's important to respect peoples' wishes to be anonymous because all hell breaks loose if someone gives a smidgen of a clue about who they are when they're making any kind of so-called 'controversial' statements. It really does get personal and it's no longer about debating ideas it's about trying to knock someone down on a personal level. And yes the appeal panel being made up from people with a strong vested interest is definitely bad...

Many of you will have noticed before that I mentioned that I was affiliated with Wingates, after which I was immediately shot down due to this. It brings the focus on to you as a person rather than what you have to say. Notice how I didn't try and justify myself on this matter because quite frankly I don't care who people think I am or am not - I wanted to put my opinions out there. At the end of the day, people can believe what they like - if it makes them feel better to think that nobody in the band/committee would write this on here then that's fine!

EVERYONE'S opinion is as valid as anyone elses. To say that someone's opinion doesn't matter unless they've been studying a score for months (I'm referring to comments made to whitewitch) - is an elitist and personal statement to make. Her opinion may not carry as much weight in a professional environment which I think is what the poster was trying to get at but she does have a fully functioning set of ears and is a member of this forum which entitles her to make that post. That's obviously besides the fact that none of you know ANYTHING about her so I don't understand why you feel the need to be so presumptuous.

Rant over. (for now;))
Just because you have an opinion and are able to express it on the internet doesn't mean it actually matters.
No ones opinion makes any difference, no matter how rightous, interesting or uninteresting they happen to be.
 

boourns

Member
While I'm here, I'll give some adjudicating credit where it's due. I conducted in the second section on Sunday and we came 10th - Mike Kilroy and David Lancaster made it absolutely clear on their sheets why they'd made their choice, plenty of notes on what we'd done well and badly and what we needed to work on in order to improve. Really helpful, constructive comments.
I've often thought it would be a good idea for contest organisers to publish all of their adjudicators' remarks. What is helpful and constructive for the band in question would probably be beneficial to lots of other bands as well. It would also add transparency to the adjudicating process and hopefully help clarify how they came to their decision(s), particularly in the top section where interpretation perhaps plays a greater role.
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
To say that someone's opinion doesn't matter unless they've been studying a score for months (I'm referring to comments made to whitewitch) - is an elitist and personal statement to make. Her opinion may not carry as much weight in a professional environment which I think is what the poster was trying to get at but she does have a fully functioning set of ears and is a member of this forum which entitles her to make that post.

Pretty much agree with this. I've never played rugby but I've watched a lot and I'll damn well have an opinion on the England/Wales match at the weekend, probably a loud one yelled at the telly.

The online identity thing is an interesting one. Theoretically online posting should be communist - everybody's equal, regardless of their 'personal capital', which in this case tends to be their history as a performer. The drawback is that truly authoritative voices get ignored as a result. I'll use the example of Mello, which is the online pseudonym of tenor horn legend Gordon Higginbottom. The fact that he chose not to sign his posts with his name (which for most people would be enough) or even a brief list of highlights of his considerable accomplishments says a lot about the modesty of the man but meant that his every post ran the risk of being contradicted by 16 year old keyboard warriors with a freshly minted grade 6. As a result he got cheesed off and no longer posts, and the forum is poorer for it. So while everyone is certainly entitled to an opinion, sometimes knowing that the poster is speaking from a position of long standing practical experience can add weight to that opinion.

(This is also why it's dangerous to assume that (for example) a forum member, especially an anonymous one, hasn't studied the score of Cambridge Variations in forensic detail for months. You simply don't know. I have a collection of scores at home, very few of which I've conducted or could conduct if I tried, but I know many of them inside out. Yes, I'm that sad.)
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
I've often thought it would be a good idea for contest organisers to publish all of their adjudicators' remarks. What is helpful and constructive for the band in question would probably be beneficial to lots of other bands as well. It would also add transparency to the adjudicating process and hopefully help clarify how they came to their decision(s), particularly in the top section where interpretation perhaps plays a greater role.
Oh god no. The Bandsman used to do this after major contests (actually they may still do for all I know) and it was the dullest read ever... :D

Some bands are funny about having their remarks in the public domain. Dunno why, but they are.
 

boourns

Member
Oh god no. The Bandsman used to do this after major contests (actually they may still do for all I know) and it was the dullest read ever... :D
Where is the problem with sticking them on 4BarsRest, in an article you are entirely at liberty to ignore? I would certainly be interested to read the remarks of, for example, Leyland and Faireys from Sunday.

Some bands are funny about having their remarks in the public domain. Dunno why, but they are.
Then make it a condition of entry.
 

Euphonium Lite

Active Member
To be fair - it might confuse things. I've seen other bands comments after the event (where we've borrowed a player, or they've put them up on line) and sometimes their comments have been a lot "worse" than ours but they've beaten us.
 
Having read many replies to this thread I find it amazing how you brass band folks go on about a contest with results
I play in a Jazz Band in Scotland but for sure will be going to Scottish Area at Perth to hear our fine Scottish Brass Bands we have
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
Many years ago, regional newspapers used to publish all comments - not just the banding press. I see no downside - it fills copy for the journalists, and those that care can read. An apparent inconsistency in level of criticism may be read not as inconsistency in adjudication, but as addressing the problems that are addressable - a band that is obviously struggling might attract a remarks sheet that was encouraging but highlighted the worst problems, whereas a band that nearly nailed the piece might have every single minor issue flagged up.
 

Blowsno Moore

New Member
NW Area results 2015...

1. Fairey
2. Foden's
3. Wingates
4. Ashton


NW Area results 2016...

1. Foden's
2. Wingates
3. Fairey
4. Ashton

Where is the shock in that result?

In my opinion, the most telling reply on this thread ! Not mine, the one I've quoted !! :p

I couldn't adjudicate (properly) to save my life and I admire anyone that even gives the appearance of having managed to.

I have always wondered if trying to write notes and listen has ever affected results - i.e. while you're writing you miss a glaring error.
Which has then led me to consider, just before a really trick bit that I couldn't play, whether it would have been worth me maybe playing the bar before slightly out of tune, or slightly wrong somehow, then hoping that the adjudicator is writing a minor comment on that slip while I totally bluff my way through the tricky bar :)

On a serious but constructive note though, if writing notes could be an issue, we could make the adjudicators' jobs significantly easier.
I believe it is the West of England region which, for the last two years, the adjudicators have recorded their comments into a microphone during the performance - Not the PA System, I hasten to add !!! :D
No written notes at all. Much quicker to comment than writing and they miss less of the following bars.
Each band receives two recordings on CD (although downloadable MP3's would be better) - one of their raw (!) performance and the other of their performance but with the adjudicator speaking their comments over the top.
No deciphering of their hastily-written scrawl and no doubts about what's being commented on, good or bad.
I have heard one of these adjudicator recordings and it is absolutely brilliant !!

It's time this method was rolled out across all the regions, in the humblest of my many opinions ! ;)

It's the future of banding !
 

boourns

Member
I have heard one of these adjudicator recordings and it is absolutely brilliant !!
I've heard two. One was very well done and was both informative and constructive, but you'd have been hard pushed to take anything of use from the other. So, just as with written remarks, it comes down to how well the adjudicator is able convey his thoughts. I tentatively agree it would be a step in the right direction though.
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
I believe it is the West of England region which, for the last two years, the adjudicators have recorded their comments into a microphone during the performance - Not the PA System, I hasten to add !!! :D
No written notes at all. Much quicker to comment than writing and they miss less of the following bars.
Each band receives two recordings on CD (although downloadable MP3's would be better) - one of their raw (!) performance and the other of their performance but with the adjudicator speaking their comments over the top.
No deciphering of their hastily-written scrawl and no doubts about what's being commented on, good or bad.
I have heard one of these adjudicator recordings and it is absolutely brilliant !!

It's time this method was rolled out across all the regions, in the humblest of my many opinions ! ;)

It's the future of banding !

It's not the regional contest - it's Wessex Association contest that does that...
Yes you get 2 recordings (one on stage, one from inside the box with the comments) but you do get written comments also, not that there's necessarily much on them.

I do agree that it's a promising format... whether it's ready for area use yet I'm not sure.

I have a few concerns offhead (which someone may already be able to answer?):
1) How do results stack up against the current system? Do the right results come up atleast as often?
2) Is there any change in bias between late/early draws relative to result?
3) If we want to continue with more than one in the box, how do we do that? Do they share the mic and judge as a pair, or do you have 2 boxes, and how are the results collated at the end?
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
It's been used on and off in various places around the world for donkey's years. When I was a student in the late 90s, I remember getting comments from a major wind band festival in this manner - and it wasn't a new idea then. I've also played at a contest (NABBA 2008) where three judges each made their own dictaphone recordings; the band received them all together on a CD afterwards.

So I'd be very surprised if it wasn't ready for Area use. I'd wonder more whether the Areas are ready for it... But not for very long. I do think it would be an obvious improvement. I would also be surprised if anyone felt that it changed results in any way - after all, judges can still make written notes to remind themselves of the overall features as they go. If anyone was worried about judges not having enough written notes to refer to when sorting, a scribe could always be employed - someone to sit beside the adjudicator and note down what they say. Indeed, I can think of at least one respected adjudicator that already does this all the time.
On the upside, it does make the relevance (or not) or comments abundantly clear - there's no self-deceiving "well, I didn't play that out of tune" - you hear yourself play it out of tune (or not), then you hear it noted.
 

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